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Report: Richmond Women 27–33 Bristol Ladies

Bristol Ladies withstood a second-half come back from last years champions, Richmond Women to come away with their sixth win on the bounce.

The game started off with a spate of yellow cards. Richmond’s Abi Chamberlain was sent to the bin for an infringement at the ruck, with Bristol’s Amelia Buckland Hurry seeing yellow for failing to retreat 10, a few minutes later. Marlie Packer was then also sent to the sin bin for collapsing the maul.

During this period, prop Sarah Bern (sponsored by Fifth Consultancy) scored a stunning try, running from the half way line and dotting the ball down under the posts, which Claire Molloy successfully converted.

Richmond then proceeded to take advantage of the overlap, scoring three tries. Alex Matthews made her presence felt in all three scores, with the third coming from a driving line out putting the ball into the corner. None were converted. Half-time saw Bristol head into the huddle down 15–7.

The second-half kick-off saw Bristol run out an invigorated team, with Taz Bricknell scoring from scrum half in her first appearance in a Bristol shirt this season. Claire Molloy followed her lead, dancing through the Richmond line with some exceptional footwork, and also converting her own score. Sarah Bern then scored her second of the afternoon, finishing off her line break, from 50ft out.

The final score of the afternoon for Bristol came through Premiership debutant Rownita Marston – playing her first game for the 1st XV today. The ball was worked out wide brilliantly through the phases, finding Marston who safely took the ball over the line. The score at 60 minutes was 15–33.

Richmond then turned up the heat with Alex Matthews breaking the Bristol defence and scoring right under the posts, successfully converted, and setting up the last 10 minutes to be tight, with the score halted it 22–33.

Bristol made things hard for themselves as Sasha Acheson saw yellow for kicking the ball away, Richmond then camped on the Bristol 22 and then secured a line out. A driving maul saw Richmond score in the corner, taking the score to 27–33. For the second week in a row Bristol held on for the final few minutes to take the bonus point victory.

Head Coach Roy Davies spoke after the game: "today was full of positives, particularly with a team sheet containing three premiership debuts. A huge congratulations to Rownita Marson, Vicky Foxwell and Taz Bricknell.

"It was a test of the depth of our squad, and as expected we went through it. We’ve got an outstanding group of girls when they believe in themselves and then they are capable of winning games even against the current premiership champions.

"Claire Molloy was our Back of the game, playing at centre for the first time this season, and Sarah Bern is our Forward of the game her outstanding runs and pace."

Bristol Ladies next game is against Saracens Women on Sunday, October 30th (KO 2:30pm) at Cleve RFC. 

Follow @Bristol_L_Rugby to keep up-to-date on all the action. 

Bristol Ladies Media is sponsored by Wring Group.